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Students outside the United Nations during a climate change protest in New York, Sept. 6. Photo: Bryan R. Smith/AFP/Getty Images

School districts are debating what position to take after New York City announced that 1.1 million public school students could skip classes without penalties to join the global youth climate strikes Friday, the New York Times reports.

Why it matters: Per the Times, this a test of the movement’s impact — by causing disruptions and getting noticed by political leaders who are in NYC for the United Nations Climate Action Summit 3 days later and the General Assembly meeting that follows it.

A tweet previously embedded here has been deleted or was tweeted from an account that has been suspended or deleted.
  • Organizers expect millions of people to leave work, home and school to take part in massive climate strike protests around the world.

The big picture: Youth strike advocates Fridays for Future said more than 2,400 events were taking place Sept. 20–27 to coincide with the UN climate summit on Sept. 23, where Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg is due to make an address.

  • More than 115 countries and 1,000 cities have registered so far, the group said.
"All eyes are on the United States which already has 145 cities signed up, with participation that is expected to be tenfold when compared with the first two global strikes in March and May of this year."

What's happening in the U.S.: The Times reports that large districts around the U.S. were discussing on Monday afternoon the issue of whether to allow students to miss school for the strikes.

  • A spokesperson for the Los Angeles Unified School District told the NYT that officials were "still finalizing" plans. Cambridge, Massachusetts, City Council members said they would discuss a motion on Tuesday to excuse students.

The other side: Critics, "ranging from climate-change deniers to people who argue for a less radical approach" to tackling global warming, "said New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio was using school attendance policy to promote a political aim," the NYT notes.

  • The New York Post’s editorial board called the move "out-and-out government sponsorship of a particular point of view." There was some concern that a few students could take advantage of the opportunity to skip school for fun, according to the Times.

Go deeper: The new social movement calling for action on climate

Go deeper

27 mins ago - World

China sanctions Wilbur Ross, 5 other Americans over Hong Kong warnings

Photo: Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The Chinese government imposed sanctions on Monday against six Americans, including former Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, in response to an advisory from the Biden administration warning businesses of the increased risks of operating in Hong Kong.

Why it matters: It's the latest example of China responding furiously to U.S. attempts to shed light on human rights abuses in places like Hong Kong, Xinjiang and Tibet, which Chinese officials routinely condemn as "interference" in domestic affairs.

Updated 58 mins ago - Sports

Live updates: Olympics formally kick off with "sobering" opening ceremony

Naomi Osaka lights the Olympic cauldron. Photo: Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

After a year-long delay, the Tokyo Olympics are finally underway. But this year's largely spectator-less opening ceremony is a "sobering" event focused primarily on the athletes.

The latest: The cauldron in Tokyo has been lit, formally kicking off the Olympic Games. Tennis star Naomi Osaka had the honor of carrying the Olympic torch to light the cauldron.

2 hours ago - Sports

Cleveland Indians change name to "Guardians"

The Cleveland Indians baseball team announced Friday that it will change its name to the "Guardians," following years of activism and protests against a moniker considered offensive by many Native Americans.

Why it matters: It's the first time the team will change its name since 1915, a move that comes in the wake of the nationwide racial reckoning that began with the murder of George Floyd.